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By Deanna Hurn,  Founder and Executive Director of Miracle Math Coaching

Opportunities for teaching Math are easy to find when you’re shopping at the grocery store.  How many cups are in this gallon of milk?  If three average-sized potatoes make a pound, how many potatoes weigh 27 pounds?  How many ounces of ice cream are in a two-pint carton?

Now, welcome to the Math Madness of the Holidays.  With all of the shopping going on, this is a perfect time to sharpen your son’s division skills and bolster your daughter’s knowledge of percentages.  Whenever money changes hands, Math is happening, and your child should know it.

But who has the time to develop shopping quizzes?  Not many people do.  And so I’m starting you off with a three-question Holiday Shopping Quiz.  It’ll not only help your child with Math, but also could help you save some holiday bucks.  Print it out, add more to it, grab a clipboard or a lightweight book and a pencil and bring them along as you look for gifts.

(And don’t forget to go to the websites and download the apps of the stores you’re going to visit.  You’ll likely find some great discounts.)

Miracle Math Holiday Shopping Quiz:

1)            What is your total shopping budget?   _____________

How many people are on your shopping list?  _____________

What’s the average dollar amount you can spend on each gift?  _____________

Now, you know what price gifts to look for to stay on budget.

2)            When you’ve decided on a gift for someone, say a sweater or a pair of mittens, price several different kinds.

How much is the most expensive?  ___________

How much is the least expensive?  ___________

(For younger kids)

What’s the difference in price?        ­­­­­­­­­­___________

(For older kids)

If the gift is greater than or less than the average you budgeted, how does the average price you’re able to spend per gift change if you buy the most

How much does it change if you buy the least expensive gift?  ­­­­­­­­­­­________

(Hint: Subtract the gift’s cost from your total budget and decrease the number on the shopping list by one.  Divide the new total budget by the new number of people on the list.)

­­­­­­­This gives you an idea of how much the price of each gift affects how much is left over for  everyone else.

1.   Pick five items you’d consider buying from the sales rack or sales table at one store.

Which one is discounted the most and by what percentage? _____________________

What would that item cost if it were discounted by five more percent?  ____________

What would that item cost if it were discounted by 10 more percent?    ____________

If the item has any small defect (a crushed package, loose threads), don’t be afraid to ask for an  additional discount (of five or 10 percent, maybe 🙂

What kind of holiday Math questions can you think of?